Thursday, 23 January 2020

NEHL Update and other news

NEHL UPDATE:
Just to confirm the re-arranged date for the Druridge Bay fixture will be the 29th March. We have a permit, and just need to confirm traffic management. Big thanks to everyone at Blyth RC involved with this. The fixture falls just a week before the Blyth 10K, so its likely that we'll be looking for a few volunteers nearer the time to help out with marshalling etc at the Harrier League fixture.

Paul is looking for help with the chip timing as he is unable to make the rearranged date.  If you want to see how it works please talk to him at the Thornley Hall Farm fixture.

Update on Lambton Estate. Met with the Estate Manager last weekend, and provisional date set for the 14th March. We'll probably be in a different part of the Estate (Castle side) than the planned site in October. We are working on the course design and looking to meet with the Estate gamekeeper to sort this in a couple of weeks time (probs around 8th Feb) and will be looking into updating our arrangements with the Safety Advisary Group, and also sort a permit. Have given NA a heads up re the latter and shouldn't be a problem. Hopefuly looking to firm up mid February-ish. Ha!ha! might go down to the wire on that one! No worries!🤓
Cheers
John Stephens

NORTHERN XC CHAMPIONSHIPS - BEDALE

Traffic: warning for anyone travelling to the Northern's at Bedale on Saturday from the west of the country (Cumbria)- the A66 will be closed between Rokeby and Scotch Corner all weekend for road resurfacing works.

The diversion goes through Barnard Castle, so they'll have to leave early to arrive on time.

There's more info here: https://highwaysengland.co.uk/projects/a66-east-layton-to-west-layton/

Travelling from the North access to the site is via junction 51 of the A1.  Follow event signage to Camp Hill Estate

Parking:  You will be directed to parking by marshals.  Cost is £5 per car.  Parking is on grass.

Dogs are allowed on site, but must be kept on a lead.

Route:
Due to increased rainfall at the Camp Hill Estate in Bedale we have had to slightly alter the layout for the XC Championships on Saturday. Please see the attached picture.

The main difference is the car park location and race start.

#xcchamps2020 #northernathletics



UPDATE ON ALAN RIPPON

Alan is the runner who collapsed at the Birtley Relays last weekend.  There is an update from the Great North Air Ambulance on their facebook page:

We are so happy to see Alan Rippon sat up in his hospital bed and smiling after we airlifted him on Sunday.

If you saw our post yesterday, you will know that our crew placed Alan in a coma and airlifted to the RVI in Newcastle after he collapsed during his run.

GNAAS paramedic, Jamie Walsh, praised the work of the North East Ambulance Service and also the bystanders first to reach Alan.

He said: “The work that they did prior to our arrival was the main contributing factor to the patient’s positive outcome and just shows what can be achieved when we all link together seamlessly.”
Well done to everyone involved 💚

Donations to the GNAAS via Derwent Valley Trail Runners JustGiving page currently stand at over £2300.  If you'd like to add to the pot please donate here to this very worthy cause.

More from the GNAAS:

We are delighted to share the news that runner Alan Rippon is doing well after his collapse on Sunday.
Alan was placed in an induced coma and flown to the RVI by our team as he suffered a cardiac arrest while running in Birtley.
Derwent Valley Trail Runners, along with Alan's family and friends, have selflessly rallied together to raise funds in support of GNAAS - raising over £2,000 in just a couple of days. 💚
Colin Davidson, Alan's brother-in-law, said: “Alan is doing really well having had six stents inserted.
“He is over the moon about the fundraising and how well it is doing. His short-term memory is still a bit hazy but otherwise we're hoping he'll be out of hospital in the next couple of days.
“The whole family are extremely grateful for the response and have all contributed to the collection.”
Pictured are Dion and Jamie who attended the incident.



Tuesday, 7 January 2020

Report from the Sherman Cup

FIRST FOOTERS OUT IN FORCE AT TEMPLE PARK
Report by Bill McGuirk

THERE were many First Footers - and numerous Fast Footers - setting the trend for a new decade at the annual Sherman Cup and Davison Shield contests at Temple Park, hosted impeccably once again by South Shields Harriers.
And, as is customary these days, the Sherman trophy winged it's way back to Northumberland and Morpeth Harriers while, after an absence of five years, Gateshead Harriers regained the women's crown much to the delight of their band of supporters.
Double Gold for Robyn & Rowan Bennett

SENIOR MEN
 
Just as he did to end the year - a winner of Saltwell Harriers 10k road race before Christmas - Calum Johnson decimated a huge field of over 400 to win comfortably by well over a minute with Gateshead team-mate, North Eastern Counties under-20 gold medalist, Charlie McMillan, came through strongly in the later stages to take second place with another junior athlete, Morpeth's Ross Charlton, finishing in third spot.
Senior Men's winner Callum Johnson
Three twisting circuits faced the competitors and it was North Shields Poly's David Green who took up the early running. However it wasn't long before Johnson appeared at the head of affairs. At the completion of the first lap Johnson had opened up a lead of around 100 metres with Green, Durham City's Matthew Hornsby, who had one eye on this coming weekend's Brass Monkey Half Marathon, and Charlton in a group while eventually runner-up McMillan, was languishing in sixth place. 
Lap two saw Johnson increase his advantage significantly as Green and Charlton just managed to keep the leader in sight. There was an impressive forward move by McMillan going into the final lap and he eventually clawed has way through into second place going into the final kilometre. 
Meanwhile, Johnson had extended the daylight between the chasers as he crossed the finish in 28min 51sec. While McMillan finished a comfortable second (30:29) there was disappointment for Green as he looked to be heading for third place only to go off course 500 metres from home which left Charlton to come home to claim the bronze medal. 
Gateshead's ever-reliable Conrad Franks finished fourth, Houghton's Luke Pickering, another junior athlete, finished fifth with Green, after retracing his steps, crossing the line in sixth place. 
With their three scorers inside the top four it was an easy team victory for Gateshead with Morpeth finish second and Tyne Bridge third.

MASTERS 
Terry Scott led the Masters home (over-40) finishing in eighth place overall in an excellent time of 31:35. Second home was Birtley's Darren Purvis in 32:36 while Gosforth's Al Johnson completed the one-two-three in 33:04.
Master's winner Terry Scott
Sunderland came out on top in the team stakes led home by fourth-placed Chris Jackson with Scott's Tyne Bridge second and Birtley third.

UNDER-17 MEN
 
Rowan Bennett took a number of major scalps to claim an extremely comfortable victory over two thee-kilometre laps. The Morpeth athlete tracked early leader Will Bellamy on the first circuit he but proved much the stronger on the second lap overhauling the leaders long before the finish. At the line, reached in 17:43, Bennett had a cushion of 38 seconds over Bellamy with Gateshead's Charlie Daley finishing in third place a further 26 seconds adrift. 
U17 Gold Rowan Bennett
Houghton, led by Bellamy, won the team race finishing ahead of Morpeth with Gateshead a close up third.
Start of the U17 Men's race
UNDER-15 BOYS 
Chris Perkins, the recently-crowned North Eastern Counties cross-country champion, eased to victory over 3k in 10:25 after never being headed throughout. Morpeth's Joe Dixon was a delighted runner-up (10:42) with Blaydon's Will Collinson completing the podium places in 11:02.
Dixon led Morpeth to team success with Gosforth in second place and North Shields Poly third.
U15 Gold Chris Perkins
UNDER-13 BOYS 
DARLINGTON'S Alex Boyer scored a notable victory winning over the same 3k course in 11:34. Gateshead's Theo Dragoi crossed the line in second place 12 seconds behind with North Shields Poly's Adam Feenan claiming the third-place medal. 
North Shields Poly with their three counters inside the top seven, won the team race by just two points from Gateshead with Morpeth holding off Durham City for third place.
U13 Gold Alex Boyer
UNDER-11 BOYS 
THE 'Try Cross-Country' for this age group does not count towards Sherman Cup points. Nevertheless there was an excellent turnout over 1,500 metres. It turned into a Gateshead one-two with victory going to Alex Lienard who had nine seconds in hand over team-mate Harry Hunter with Morpeth's Rob Walton a further four seconds back in third place.

SENIOR WOMEN
 
Ladies line up for the start of the Senior & Masters Women's race
THE smile told it all as Elswick's Amy Fuller held on to take The gold medal by the narrowest of margins. It certainly was an unexpected result for Fuller could only finish in 10th place in the county championships and she faced a number of rivals who finished ahead of her that day before Christmas. 

It wasn't surprising that Morpeth's
Catriona MacDonald cut out the early pace over two 4K laps for she was bronze medalist at Alnwick. However, the two were running side-by-side as they entered the second circuit but when they came back into view it was Newcastle athlete who was leading by about 20 metres. In the final field MacDonnell called on all her experience and gradually began to haul back the deficit. However, the line came too soon and it was the red and white vested Fuller who got the verdict, albeit by a matter of a stride or two. Gosforth's Helen Warburton, another athlete who finished ahead of Fuller at Alnwick, claimed third place ahead of fit again Josie Cram (Morpeth).
 


Senior Women Gold Amy Fuller
In a tight race for team honours Morpeth came out on top by just two points ahead of Jarrow & Hebburn with Sunderland finishing in third place.

MASTERS WOMEN
 
AFTER Finishing in ninth place overall, Gillian Manford led Gateshead to a runaway victory in the team race helped by Kim Simpson and Jane Giles the Tynesiders totalled just 17 points. Elswick, led by second-placed Judith Nutt (who was third lady in the first ever Davison Shield fixture in 2002), finished runners-up on 38 with host club South Shields celebrating after finishing third. Alison Dargie (Tyne Bridge) was third individual.
Master's winner Gillian Manifold

UNDER-20/UNDER-17 WOMEN
 
IT turned into a great day for the Bennett family for they celebrated their second success of the day when Robyn came home in pole position to win by eight seconds ahead of Gateshead's Chloe Wellings. Third across the line was Emily Chong who was first under-17. 
U17&20 Women's winner Robyn Bennett
Houghton came out on top in the team stakes finishing ahead of Morpeth and Gateshead.

UNDER-15 GIRLS
 
ALNWICK'S Millie Breese bounced back after being under the weather at the county championships to push the victor that day, Birtley's Katie Francis, into second place, seven seconds separating the duo at the line. North Shields Poly's Holly Waugh finished a further five seconds back in third place. 
The Poly claimed team success ahead of Blackhill Bounders and Durham City.
U15 Gold Millie Breese
UNDER-13 GIRLS 
DURHAM City's Charlotte Dillon produced one of the biggest winning margins of the day as she crossed the finish 28 seconds clear of county champion Zara Jones (Darlington) with Gateshead's Annabel Milburn 16 seconds back in third place. 
Gosforth, led home by fourth-placed Hannah Wightman, claimed team success finishing ahead of Elswick and Durham City.
U13 Gold Charlotte Dillon
UNDER-11 GIRLS 
SOPHIE Quinn, who contested the under-13 race at the county championships and picked up a medal, won comfortably by nine seconds from Durham City's Grace Carter and Katy Otterson ((North Shields Poly) who couldn't be separated by the timekeepers!


THANKS go to South Shields Harriers for hosting a superb day's sport once again and to all the marshals, technical officials and league officials for without them we wouldn't have a competition to be proud of.

Photos with thanks to Stuart Whitman, Adrian Hall & Robyn Bennett 

Thursday, 2 January 2020

Sherman Cup 2020

Hi all. 

Happy New Year



Team managers,
online entries for Temple Park on Saturday 4th January are open and will close at noon on Friday 3rd.
Remember, don't register anyone as new who is already on the system.
If you need to transfer a runner from another club, e-mail and I'll do it.
If in doubt, ask.
We expect to have entries available on the day but try to register people in advance as it saves Vicki a lot of hassle on the day and saves you money.
Although runners will wear the same race number as for other Harrier League races, this is not a League race, it's the Sherman Cup (male)/Davison Shield (female).
There are no handicap packs and no pack promotions for this event.
All races are scratch races with all runners in a race setting off at the same time.
This is a one off annual competition across all age groups.
Cup/Shield points are awarded to clubs in all 5 age groups (U13, U15, U17/20, Senior and Vet) and the best club across all age groups wins the trophy.
You don't earn League points for this event but if you have a Harrier League race number for this year then you can still race and run off some Christmas calories.
There's no additional cost, it's included in your £3 paid for the race number for the season.
Just turn up at the start line in time for your race. There's no need to register again.
The timetable is the same order as usual for a Harrier League meeting BUT, because the Sherman Cup/Davison Shield have no packs, things will progress a little quicker than usual so keep an eye on events so you aren't late for the start of your race.

Timetable : START TIMES approx.

U11 Boys 1200
U11 Girls 1205
U17 Men 1215
U20/17 Women 1220
U15 Boys 1235
U15 Girls 1240
U13 Boys 1250

U13 Girls 1255
Sen & Vet W 1305
Sen & Vet M 1350

Please take note of the parking information posted by Ashleigh from host club, South Shields Harriers.
You can find this on Facebook:
Also check out the Harrier League Facebook page and the Harrier League blog from Vicki for any late information:

UPDATE FROM ASHLEIGH

It's muddy!



Overspill is fairly overgrown and has many potholes, therefore parking is entirely at your own risk. The car park will be very busy with footballers and gymnasts as well as us, so will be probably full by midday. Car sharing is a must, and I would advise you to park sensibly and legally in the surrounding streets namely King George Road, Nevinson Avenue and Whiteleas, they are a very short walk to the start area.
Course is MUDDY! 😁 probably the most muddy Temple Park has ever been for our XC, again pics in the comments, please watch out for the giant puddles, the marshals will shout them out to you as you come to them.
Under no circumstances can you warm up on the course when the races have started, there is a massive rugby/football field to the left of the start area that you can use should you wish to.
Thanks all, see you tomorrow!

Here is the course map for this weekend's Sherman Cup fixture at Temple Park. . Start times are as usual (see http://www.harrierleague.com/ )  Look forward to seeing everyone on Saturday. 
GENTLE REMINDER; This is the only event in the Start Fitness North Eastern Harrier League Calendar that is run off scratch - ie NO PACKS, Everyone goes off together in each race.








Parking is limited so please car share where possible. You will need your change handy as parking is not free inside Temple Park. Cost is 70p. It is council owned so they will be taking payment, or you can pay at the machine.

Race headquarters is on the course at the NEHL tent and numbers will be available for collection from 10:30, then on the course from 12:45.  Please arrive in enough time to get parked and collect your number (if you don't have one already).

Postcode for the event is NE34 8QN




A small reminder for closing dates for both the Northern and National XC Championships 

Northerns: Closing date for online entries – midnight 12th January 2020 NO LATE ENTRIES WILL BE ACCEPTED


Nationals: Closing date is Friday 10th January

Monday, 16 December 2019

North Eastern XC Championship Report

ALNWICK HOST AN ANNIVERSARY TO BE PROUD OF

AFTER an absence of 25 years the North Eastern Counties returned to Alnwick for it's annual Cross-Country Championships and those who ventured north of the county to support the event witnessed an exciting day's sport despite having to endure constant high winds whIch kept the temperature to just above zero. The NECAA is indebted to Alnwick Harriers for their superb work on the day and prior to the championships in making sure things went smoothly and smoothly they did though there were a number of tongue-in-cheek comments by athletes that the course laid out should have been a bit tougher!

A number of athletes who competed at the same venue a quarter of a century ago came along to present awards including John Caine who was working in his capacity as the link between the region hosting the inaugural European Cross-Country Championships which were held in tandem while three of the long-serving county officials - Les Venmore, Kevin Carr and Bill McGuirk - who were at their posts that day were involved once again this time round. To make it an occasion to remember Championship Secretary, Archie Jenkins, had produced an excellent booklet full of information and statistics many of which were snapped up by those who had a couple of quid in their pocket. To those who had an input, however large or small, the Association thank you all, without your support we would not have a championship so, once you all have recovered, we look forward to returning to the pastures in a couple of month's time when you start all over again for the final fixture of the season of the Start Fitness North East Harrier League.

SENIOR MEN

FORMER Alnwick Harrier Carl Avery lived up to being billed as favourite as he lifted the impressive Wilkinson Sword for the very first time. Now running for Morpeth Avery tried on numerous occasions to claim the title but never managed to top the podium. However, the rolling Alnwick hills certainly proved to his liking as he took an early lead and was never headed after that. At the completion of the first of three circuits Avery had a lead of around 80 metres over Calum Johnson (Gateshead) with Houghton's Cameron Allen holding down third place ahead of defending champion Greg Jayasuriya (Middlesbrough and Cleveland), Adrian Bailes (Birtley) and Houghton's Alex Brown.




The gap between the leading two athletes stayed roughly the same as they entered the final lap though it was evident that Allen, who could have ran in the junior men's race, was slipping further behind as the rear of the near 300-strong field was being lapped. As the leaders came into view for the final time it was Avery who still held the advantage over Johnson and as he crossed the finishing line he stopped the clock at 40min 50secs, 12 seconds ahead of the Tyneside athlete. The race for the bronze medal changed dramatically over the final 4k with Brown proving the stronger and managing to overhaul Jayasuriya and Allen. Naturally, Avery was delighted to finally have won the North East title admitting he thought it may never happen after going close a couple of times. "I've been second and third before but never won until today,'' said Avery after receiving his award from old warhorse Stewy Bell who finished runner-up in the senior race at Alnwick 25 years previously. "I'm over the moon to eventually win especially here at Alnwick were I have a lot of friends who seemed to be cheering me on at every corner. I felt pretty good throughout even though the wind was pretty strong at times. The win sets me up nicely for the rest of the winter. It would be nice to regain the Northern title after finishing second earlier in the year and it would be even better if I could improve on my third place in the National.''

Johnson, meanwhile, wasn't too downhearted in finishing runner-up as it was his first cross-country outing of the campaign. "I have to be happy with my run today,'' said Johnson, whose recent main sporting activity has been competing as a tri-athlete. "That was my first cross-country race since the Inter-Counties in March so I was a bit rusty and didn't really have the confidence to go with Carl in the early stages though, to finish just 12 seconds behind, gives me a boost before the other championships after the turn of the year.''






With two inside the top three it was no surprise that Morpeth came out on top in the team stakes once again after totalling just 79 points in the six-to-score contest. Gateshead claimed the silver awards finishing with 138 points while Sunderland, with 173 points finished in third place just three points ahead of Darlington with Tyne Bridge a further six points back in fifth position.

SENIOR WOMEN

SONIA SAMUELS (then Sonia Thomas, competing for Wallsend) was crowned under-17 champion at Alnwick 25 years ago and has been in competitive action ever since culminating with a Rio Olympic marathon appearance in 2016. Now based in Loughborough, Sonia was delighted to be on hand to present the medals to the under-17 and under-20 winners earlier in the day before rushing back to the comfort of her car before it was time to warm up for her race. Having lifted the senior title on two prior occasions - Hartlepool in 2007 and Redcar two years ago - Sonia was the overwhelming favourite to make it a hat-trick of victories. And that's the way the race panned out after she took an early lead in what was the final contest of the 11-race programme. Two 4k circuits faced the near 200-strong field which had cut up slightly in places though otherwise the running surface was quite firm.




 Going into the final lap Sonia, now competing for the Sale Harriers Manchester club, had opened up a significant gap over Philippa Stone (Middlesbrough Mandale) with Morpeth's Catriona McDonald a significant distance back in third place as Helen Warburton (Gosforth), last year's champion Georgia Campbell and Morpeth's Jane Hodgson kept in touch a short distance behind. There was no change in the top three on the way to the line with Sonia, a proud Geordie, coming home in a superb time of 31min 21secs, 47 seconds clear of Philippa with Catriona a further 32 seconds adrift in third place. While it was a third win for Sonia the result was equally pleasing for the runner-up who was having only her second cross-country race in two years after being sidelined for the majority of 2018 through injury but the former junior international showed she is close to her best with a storming performance.





Sonia, who was back in the region staying with her mum, one of the many who braved the cold to lend her support, said she was over the moon to win her third senior title in what she described ''real cross-country'', before adding: "I love coming back home and being able to get a race in and the championships fitted in nicely and to win my third senior title here in Alnwick will be something I'll remember for a long time, or will it be the freezing cold wind I remember!? Naturally, I'm pleased to win again and now I'm looking forward to the turn of the year and the National - she has finished second and third but never won - and the Inter Counties where it's always a pleasure to represent the North East.''

Jarrow and Hebburn, led by Georgia Campbell, won the team title for the third consecutive year, a feat never equalled as far as the senior women's championship goes, The South Tyneside outfit totalled 57 points in the four-to-score contest with Tyne Bridge finishing in second place on 111 points. However, the biggest roar of the day came when Jesmond Joggers were announced as bronze medallists edging out Elswick by just two points. It was a great result for the Newcastle outfit, one of the fledgling clubs in the region.





JUNIOR MEN

LAST year's under-17 champion Sam Charlton went into the race as favourite after his exploits of last winter that saw him go unbeaten in all of the major domestic championships and he looked as though he was on track to justify that favouritism after the completion of the first short lap when he held the advantage over Morpeth's Daniel Dixon who was followed by Gateshead's Charlie McMillan and Dixon's team-mate Ross Charlton. However, things changed dramatically on the second circuit and when the first athlete came into view it was McMillan who had eased past his rivals to open a significant gap which extended to 28 seconds at the finish with Charlton, who complained about the recurrence of an ankle injury, having to be content with second place with Dixon managing to hold off Ross Charlton to complete the podium spots.





Only two teams managed to close in the three-to-score contest with victory going to Morpeth who finished on 14 points 13 better than runners-up Middlesbrough Mandale.





UNDER-17/JUNIOR WOMEN

THE first three to finish in the combined age group came from the older section with Darlington's Lucy-Erin Hunter, in her first North East Championship for four years, claiming the gold medal. Hunter was chased home by Gateshead pair Elisha Tait and Chloe Wellings with Tait following the winner across the line 11 seconds behind while Wellings was a further three seconds adrift in third place. In recent under-17 contests Chester-le-Street's Emily Chong has played second fiddle behind Gateshea's Ines Curran. However, on this occasion Chong managed to turn the tables to take the title comfortably by 21 seconds as Birtley's Tess Graham finished a close-up third. Gateshead, with just 10 points, claimed a runaway victory in the combined team contest with Houghton second on 30 and Blaydon third on 49.






UNDER-17 MEN

ARCHIE LOWE was only sixth in last year's championships at Wrekenton but he managed to put many of his peers to the sword this time round. The Middlesbrough Mandale athlete was always in control and came home to win this time round by a margin of 27 seconds. Henry Johnson, who was ninth last year, finished a good second while Johnson's Houghton team-mate Will Bellamy had to settle for third place for the second successive season. All of the medalists are in the second year of the age group however, following them across the line in fourth place was Darlington's John Russell who is having his first season as an under-17. Houghton, with two in the top three, won the team contest finishing with 16 points, Morpeth finished second with 22 and Darlington third on 28.





UNDER-15 BOYS
THIS is one of the region's strongest age group with a number of talented athletes so an exciting contest was envisaged and so it proved. Chris Perkins (Birtley) and Josh Blevins (North Shields Poly) have been two of the leading runners in the country both of whom picked up England Schools' international vests last winter after finishing in sixth and second places respectively. Twelve months ago Perkins got the better of his rival by 10 seconds and again he managed to come out on top this time round by 18 seconds. Morpeth's Joe Dixon finished strongly to claim third place. Perkins has now claimed victory on two occasions at both under-13 and under-15 and for good measure also won the non-championship under-11. Morpeth came out on top in the team stakes finishing with 19 points, Durham City finished in second place with 60 points and, in a close battle for the bronze medals, Houghton celebrated finishing with 73. Both Alnwick and Blaydon missed out after totalling 76 points.



UNDER-15 GIRLS

WHAT a superb advert for girls sport and particularly cross-country running. Like the under-15 boys this is another of the region's strongest and so it proved after a superb contest unfolded. And it was Birtley who had big reason to celebrate when Kate Francis led the field home to come home 14 seconds clear of North Shields Polys Ellie Van Der Merwe with Alnwick's Millie Breese completing the podium places a further six seconds adrift. The chase for team honours could not have been closer and there was a rousing cheer when it was announced that victory went to home-based Alnwick who managed to finish on 25 points just one point better off than runners-up North Shields Poly with Darlington claiming the bronze awards with 39 points.




UNDER-13 BOYS

TWELVE months ago Darlington's Alex Boyer finished in sixth place when the championships were held at Wrekenton. This time round, however, he had plenty in hand to take the major prize. At the line Boyer finished 19 seconds clear of Gateshead's Theo Dragoi with North Shield's Poly's Zac Brannon coming through to complete the medalists. Gateshead won the team contest finishing with 18 points, Darlington finished runners-up on 26 and North Shields Poly were third with 40 points.



UNDER-13 GIRLS

SOUTH of the region claimed all the individual honours in this age group and it turned out to be the closest finish of the day. Victory went to Darlington's Zara Jones who managed to hold off the challenge of first year under-13 Sophie Quinn by just one second in what was a tremendous result for the Billingham Marsh House club. Eden Creasey of Middlesbrough Mandale completed the one-two-three a further 11 seconds behind. While the individual awards zoomed their way south the leading team medals went to Newcastle club Elswick. It's been a while since the 'West Enders' .produced promising youngsters but the club seem to be on the right track now once again. Elswick totalled 46 points, Tynedale claimed second place with 50 with Middlesbrough just one point further adrift to claim the bronze awards.



UNDER-11

ONCE again the championships got underway with under-11 'Try Cross-Country' events and again there was a healthy turnout with many giving the sport a go for the very first time. Once again it was pleasing to see youngsters from West Jesmond Primary School lining up with seasoned club runners. First home in the boys contest was Middlesbrough Mandale's Chalie Johns who was followed home by Morpeth's Robert Walton with Aidaen Turner (North Shields Poly) holding off Gateshead's Harry Hunter to claim the third place award after the two runners recorded the same time. The girls event, run over the same 1,500m course, was won by North Shields Poly's Katy Otterson with Grace Carter (Durham City) finishing second and Niamh Phillipson from another of the region's fledgling clubs, Derwent Valley Trail Runners, finishing in third place. There were competitors from 20 different clubs which is encouraging for the future of cross-country in the region.




A huge thanks to everyone who took time to turn up to Alnwick Pastures in what was testing conditions. Whether a competitor, supporter, official or someone just passing by wondering what was going on, the NE Counties AA applaud you all and look forward to seeing as many of you as possible in 12 months time when the championships return to Sedgefield when, hopefully, the snow won't make another appearance!

***LATE NEWS***
Elswick Harriers won the overall female trophy with Morpeth Harriers claiming the trophy for the men. The Northumberland outfit won the overall team trophy

Report by Bill McGuirk
Photos: Stuart Alan Whitman